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Cheyney University Reflects on Richard Humphrey's Legacy

March 1, 2012

Cheyney University President Michelle Howard-Vital and Miss Cheyney present Jeff Perkins of Friends Fiduciary Corporation with “The Excellence in Strategic Grant Making Award”

Cheyney University President Michelle Howard-Vital and Miss Cheyney present Jeff Perkins of Friends Fiduciary Corporation with “The Excellence in Strategic Grant Making Award”

Underlying Cheyney University’s 175-year history is Richard Humphreys, a Philadelphia Quaker.  Due to his $10,000 bequest - one tenth of his estate – in 1837, and his charge to 13 fellow Quakers to design “an institution … (which would) have for its object the benevolent design of instructing the descendants of the African Race in school learning…” Cheyney University exists to this day.  Furthermore, Humphreys initial bequest continues to support that institution which had originally been named “The Institute for Colored Youth.”

Each Founder's Day members of the Richard Humphreys Distribution Committee recognizes the Humphreys scholars. Students honored this year included Whitney Davis, Adrese Hicks, Krystyna Lockley, Simeone Waters, Class of 2012; Kenneth Allen, Monica Effi, Dariana Vilorio, Erica Williams, Brittney Young; Class of 2013; Richard Coleman, Sha’Tique Martin, Danielle Milnes, Mikael Rahim-Nero, Christopher Stewart, Class of 2014; and Jasmyne Boggs, Nicholas Carter, Annemarie Gallagher, Class of 2015.

On the occasion of the 175th anniversary of Cheyney University on February 24, 2012, Cheyney University President, Michelle Howard-Vital presented Jeff Perkins of Friends Fiduciary Corporation with “The Excellence in Strategic Grant Making Award.” The Corporation's grant provides support to preserve Cheyney University’s historic assets including the historic Humphreys Hall as well as facilitating the education of the Humphreys scholars.

Bruce Hunt of the Friends Fiduciary Corporation presented Cheyney University with a full size reproduction of Nicodemus Before Christ, a painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner, which had once hung in the Leslie Pinkney Hill Library.

Hunt acknowledged that “Cheyney University is truly the embodiment of Richard Humphrey’s vision.  Remember that in 1832 it was illegal to teach African Americans.  In that same year, Richard Humphreys bequeathed $10,000 to train African Americans and to prepare them to work as teachers.  We are truly privileged to keep the vision of Richard Humphreys alive.  We will keep that light ever glowing.”